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I need help with my Bark!!

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  • Virginia Dave
    Former Member
    • Jul 2014
    • 90
    • Forest Virginia

    I need help with my Bark!!

    I'm cooking my second beef brisket tomorrow and would love some input on how to get the best bark. 12 lb brisket has been dry brining since 5pm yesterday. I'll use Big Bad Beef Rub (no salt) right before putting in the smoker at 225° with hickory early tomorrow morning. I'll spritz with beef broth to keep it moist and crutch at the stall. Last time I pulled it off of the smoker 195° and into a faux cambro for about an hour and a alf. Turned out really flavorful and tender but the bark was a little too soft. Any advice will be greatly appreciated! Heres a few shots from the first one.

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  • grantw
    Former Member
    • Aug 2014
    • 73

    #2
    Use non coated butcher paper instead of foil.

    Comment

    • Huskee
      Pit Boss/Manager
      • May 2014
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      #3
      The downside of crutching is the softening of the surface bark, but the pros outweigh the cons. To bark back up, put it back on your smoker or grill for 15-30 min right before serving. Or broil in your oven until crisp. The bark just needs to dry back out. Your brisket looks beautiful Dave!
      Last edited by Huskee; August 15th, 2014, 06:36 AM.

      Comment

      • _John_
        Former Member
        • Jul 2014
        • 2454

        #4
        My bark is never as good when I wrap, so I try not to. That isn't always feasible though, so I get pretty good results on my pork by crutching until about 185, then putting it back on the smoker to finish. All of the crutch liquid is then used once its pulled. I've only done a few briskets, so i'm not sure if the results would be the same.

        Comment

        • David Parrish
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          • May 2014
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          #5
          I recommend taking the brisket up to a higher internal temp before you crutch if your goal is bark. Maybe 175F to 185F. The downside is you have to cook through the stall unwrapped, which adds time.

          Comment


          • David Parrish
            David Parrish commented
            Editing a comment
            This method won't hurt the other 3, it'll just help you get 4 of 4=)

          • dprice
            dprice commented
            Editing a comment
            What's the point of crutching if you wait until after the stall? I thought eliminating the stall was the main point of crutching (which is why I usually don't do it).

          • David Parrish
            David Parrish commented
            Editing a comment
            The crutch after the stall helps t retain juice, which gets absorbed back into the meat during the rest. Try it. It works very well.
        • Jerod Broussard
          Moderator
          • Jun 2014
          • 9272
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          #6
          Yeh, I never crutch a brisket before 180 anymore. Reason is I wrap based on bark, not temp. I do take temp when I wrap just so I know how far I am from 200.

          Comment

          • Virginia Dave
            Former Member
            • Jul 2014
            • 90
            • Forest Virginia

            #7
            Thanks for the good advice fellas!

            Comment

            • Virginia Dave
              Former Member
              • Jul 2014
              • 90
              • Forest Virginia

              #8
              OK. I followed instructions pretty close and ended up with a really dry flat. The point wasn't bad but the flat was WAY too dry! The last one I did (wrapped at 160) was a lot more moist than this one which I wrapped at 180. The bark wasn't that much better either. Flavor was great and smoke was too but the moisture was gone. I know what to do next time.

              Comment

              • David Parrish
                Founding Member - Pit Boss Emeritus
                • May 2014
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                • Charlotte, NC
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                #9
                Originally posted by Virginia Dave View Post
                OK. I followed instructions pretty close and ended up with a really dry flat. The point wasn't bad but the flat was WAY too dry! The last one I did (wrapped at 160) was a lot more moist than this one which I wrapped at 180. The bark wasn't that much better either. Flavor was great and smoke was too but the moisture was gone. I know what to do next time.

                How long did you rest and at what temp did you take the meat off? Did you probe it prior to that final temp to see if it was probe tender?

                Comment


                • Virginia Dave
                  Virginia Dave commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Was probe tender, just like the first one. Took it off at 196. Rested 2 hours in cooler with beach towels.
              • The Burn
                Founding Member
                • Jul 2014
                • 993
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                #10
                And were you probing for temp in the point or the flat? I made the mistake of probing in the point, which made the flat drier.

                Comment


                • Virginia Dave
                  Virginia Dave commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I had the probe in the thickest part of the flat. Checked several other places with Thermapen.
              • Virginia Dave
                Former Member
                • Jul 2014
                • 90
                • Forest Virginia

                #11
                Here you can see where I had the probe.
                Click image for larger version

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                Comment


                • The Burn
                  The Burn commented
                  Editing a comment
                  If you were using that to gauge when you were finished (I go to 203), I would think that the majority of your brisket was higher.

                  This looks similar to what I did. It was suggested that I probe in the even part of the flat and use the point for burnt ends. Since I'm a Texas BBQ traditionalist, I don't like to sauce my meat so I won't do that. Instead, I'll probably keep doing it this way, use the moist point for sliced and use the drier flat for chopped BBQ with a little bit of gravy/broth to add moisture.
              • Virginia Dave
                Former Member
                • Jul 2014
                • 90
                • Forest Virginia

                #12
                Ya live and ya learn!

                Comment

                • Christobol
                  Charter Member
                  • Aug 2014
                  • 23
                  • OC, CA
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                  #13
                  Dave,

                  Aaron Franklin (Franklin BBQ in Austin and recent winning of best bbq in the country from various magazines) doesn't recommend a foil crutch, he advocates a butcher paper crutch. I think the paper allows some moisture to leak which helps keep the bark crispy, while retaining enough water and fat to help keep the brisket moist.

                  I've only done two briskets so far, one without a crutch, and the second with a foil crutch, this weekend I'll try the butcher paper crutch and try to identify the differences between the two.

                  Comment


                  • Virginia Dave
                    Virginia Dave commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Thanks man! I'll give that a try!
                • IrondeQuer
                  Founding Member
                  • Jul 2014
                  • 263
                  • Irondequoit, NY
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                  #14
                  Wow, that's a gorgeous brisket.

                  Comment


                  • Virginia Dave
                    Virginia Dave commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Thank you very much!!

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